Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Signal. 2007 Jan;19(1):114-28. Epub 2006 Jun 7.

Norepinephrine induces BDNF and activates the PI-3K and MAPK cascades in embryonic hippocampal neurons.

Author information

California State University, Los Angeles, Department of Biological Sciences, 5151 State University Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90032, USA.


Both antidepressant treatment and physical exercise have been shown to increase circulating levels of norepinephine (NE) and hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Increases in BDNF have been shown to be associated with enhanced dendritic arborization and neuronal survival, which forms the theoretical basis of the Neurotrophin Hypothesis of antidepressant action. Using isolated embryonic hippocampal neurons and immunoblotting, we show that application of NE increases BDNF and phosphorylated Trk, and that these increases can be prevented by ERK and PI-3K inhibitors. In addition, NE-induced increases in phospho-ERK2 and PI-3K were each suppressed by a PI-3K and MAPK inhibitor, respectively. Furthermore, phosphorylation of cAMP-response element binding (CREB) protein was also increased by NE and brought down to baseline levels by MAPK and PI-3K inhibitors. And finally, because both the MAPK and PI-3K inhibitors suppress phosphorylation of both TrkB (upstream) and CREB (downstream), these results indicate that NE-induced BDNF expression follows a cyclic pathway, reminiscent of a positive feedback loop. The results of this study provide an in vitro model of the intracellular signaling mechanisms activated by NE, via ligand-G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-to-BDNF-RTK transactivation, that is putatively thought to occur in vivo as a result of excitatory neural activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center